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2017 Honda Civic Si Preview

img60357934 1491426528261 jpg 2017 Honda Civic Si | Manufacturer image

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Competes with: Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra Sport, Mazda3

Looks like: The redesigned-for-2016 Civic in its new designer gym outfit

Drivetrain: 1.5-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual transmission

Hits dealerships: May

Following the Civic’s 2016 redesign, Honda continues to expand on the stalwart sedan-and-coupe lineup with the reintroduction of the sporty Si model for the 2017 model year. Honda revealed the Si today ahead of the 2017 New York International Auto Show, where the performance-oriented coupe and sedan variants will debut in May.

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

The announcement and accompanying YouTube video represent not only the return of the Si after skipping the 2016 model year, but also the last stop on the road to the release of the performance range-topping Type R hot hatch, which is also set for a Big Apple bow. Honda calls the new Si — turbocharged for the first time ever — its “most agile, best-handling Si yet,” designed for the “everyday enthusiast.”

It’s expected to hit dealerships sometime next month at a starting price in the mid-$20,000 range, like its predecessor. We’ll be on the auto show floor in New York bringing you from-the-scene coverage, but here’s what we know so far.

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Exterior

Si models distinguish themselves with aggressive, sporty cues like a black wing lower body element in front; enlarged side intakes; 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels; a model-exclusive two-tone paint job; and wider, low-profile tires. Around back are a chrome, center-mounted polygon-shaped exhaust; large side vents; a deck lid spoiler on the sedan that incorporates an LED brake light; and on the coupe, a full-width light bar and raised spoiler.

Honda said the Si is significantly lighter than the previous generation, and that its body rigidity has improved.

Under the Hood

Both the sedan and coupe are powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder that makes 205 horsepower and 192 pounds-feet of torque. That’s compared to the 2017 Civic LX sedan’s 158 hp and 138 pounds-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

The Si boasts several performance upgrades — some of which are shared with the Type R — such as a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive damper system and 12.3-inch front brake rotors. The driver can choose from two modes: Normal for controlled comfort, and Sport for a more spirited experience in terms of suspension, steering and throttle response.

Interior

The performance focus carries over into the cabin, which features Si-exclusive bolstered front sport seats with contrast red stitching that extends to the doors, steering wheel and leather shift boot, in addition to stitched Si logos. Other race-ready flourishes include an aluminum shift knob, a red driver’s TFT display in the gauge cluster and stereo lighting, aluminum sport pedals and a Dry Metal Carbon-trimmed instrument panel.

Building off the Civic EX-T’s offerings, convenience and connectivity features include remote start, an electronic parking brake, walk-away door locking, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, a 7-inch multimedia display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a 450-watt, 10-speaker stereo with CD player.

Safety

Honda says the Si offers “class-leading forward visibility and precise, stable and predictable steering, handling and braking performance,” and its stability control system includes traction control and Agile Handling Assist, which uses brake vectoring to help the driver follow their chosen line during more aggressive driving.

Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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